Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

29 March

Lord, be kind to me; for I am weak. Heal me, Lord; for my bones are frightened, and my soul is very frightened. Psalm 6:3-4(a). [vv. 2-3(a) in English Bibles]

Have mercy, Lord, for I am weak; heal me, for my bones are frightened … I know what I’m talking about. It most certainly is true that nobody obtains God’s mercy who does not intensely hunger and thirst for it, like the Psalm (42:2 ff.) states: Like a deer cries out for fresh water, so my soul thirsts for You, God. No satiated and bored soul dare hope to be satisfied by God; for He fills up with good things only the hungry ones. How less so will He give eternal life to the bored souls, who of course despise it in favor of this temporal life. Only to those who most fervently and with inexpressible groaning sighs seek it, request it, and knock on His door for it, shall He give eternal life. Since we however in this life amidst a quite/peaceful life do not do this, God then lays all kind of afflictions and death upon us, the pressures of which shall drive us to seek mercy and life. 

My body cries out in physical pain, but my soul rejoices that God enabled me to complete this difficult translation. I’m confident that I did it fairly correctly.  I once did a woodblock print of some deer beside a stream of water, entitled: “So longs my soul for Thee.”

Longing for Christ – even so come quickly,

Elmer H.

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